The present economic crisis in Russia is conditioned above all by political factors. The crisis is proof of a serious dysfunction of the model of economic governance which is subordinated to the government elite’s individual interests. Because oil prices were at a high level until 2014, this model could work at a relatively low social cost.
However, now that the oil prices are remaining at a low level and given the lack of internal sources of long-term economic growth, the country is facing the risk of a long-lasting stagnation. It will lead to an inevitable degradation of the Russian economy and, above all, to a deterioration of the Russian public’s living standards. The government still does not intend to launch any structural reforms; its goal is to preserve the present system of control over the political and public sphere.
Is a political crisis possible in Russia, given these conditions? Should the government be wary of a ‘colour revolution’ or a revolt among the elite?